6 Tips That Can Help You Get Over Menstrual Cramps

menstrual cramps

Lot of woman have to go through this pain every month of their life. Medically, Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for the painful cramps that may occur immediately before or during the menstrual period. There are two types of dysmenorrhea: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea.

Primary dysmenorrhea is another name for common menstrual cramps. Cramps usually begin one to two years after a woman starts getting her period. Pain usually is felt in the lower abdomen or back. They can be mild to severe. Common menstrual cramps often start shortly before or at the onset of the period and continue one to three days. They usually become less painful as a woman ages and may stop entirely after the woman has her first baby.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is pain caused by a disorder in the woman’s reproductive organs. These cramps usually begin earlier in the menstrual cycle and last longer than common menstrual cramps.

The symptoms of menstrual cramps includes Aching pain in the abdomen (Pain can be severe at times, Feeling of pressure in the abdomen, Pain in the hips, lower back, and inner thighs. When cramps are severe, symptoms may include Upset stomach, sometimes with vomiting and Loose stools. Here are some tips that can help you get over this pain

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1. Supplement Yourself

Take calcium and magnesium supplements throughout the month, as these nutrients work in concert to aid muscle relaxation. You should aim for a total of about 1000mg of calcium daily, and up to 500mg of magnesium daily.  If you experience loose stools, reduce the dose. (Note: we recommend you use calcium citrate, because it tends to be more easily absorbed into the system than calcium carbonate.)

2. Try a Tea

Raspberry leaf is considered to be a mild uterine tonic. Try a cup of raspberry leaf tea each day throughout the month. It is available at Whole Foods by the company Traditional Medicinals. Keep in mind you are looking for the herbal tea, not raspberry-flavored black tea!

3. Eat More Greens

Dark leafy greens are a dietary source of magnesium, calcium, and countless other micronutrients.  These nutrients are essential for mediating muscle contractions. In Chinese dietary therapy, dark green vegetables are also considered to be mildly cleansing, which is what the body needs in a “stagnation” condition. Some greens such as dandelion greens (very bitter, but very helpful) also have a mild diuretic effect, which reduces bloating.

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4. Cut Down on Coffee

Caffeine, especially from coffee, is a well-known vasoconstrictor – it makes blood vessels constrict.  Indeed, it may cause the vessels that feed the uterus to tighten more than they do in non-coffee drinkers.  If you’re a die hard coffee drinker and can’t cut it out entirely, try avoiding it just in the week before your period and see if you notice a change.

5. Use a Heating Pad

A heating pad or hot water bottle is a simple, tried and true way to reduce muscle spasms.

6. Try Acupuncture

Certain acupuncture points are thought to regulate blood flow through the abdominal cavity and relax the nervous system, which can help calm muscular contractions. Studies show that acupuncture is just as effective as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines for reducing pain.

In addition to pain relief, don’t be surprised if these changes also lead to better digestion, better sleep, and a steadier mood.  However, if these measures aren’t enough to improve your quality of life, an acupuncturist or naturopath can offer you further refinement of natural strategies.

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Also, keep in mind that excessively painful menstruation can be a sign of a more serious underlying medical issue, such as endometriosis, a uterine infection, or a problem with the uterine anatomy. Don’t forget to consult your primary care provider to make sure these possibilities are addressed, especially if you just can’t seem to get your pain under control.

May you enjoy smoother cycles!